Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Deprivation of liberty of children based on their or their parents’ migration status is never in the best interests of the child, exceeds the requirement of necessity, becomes grossly disproportionate and may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of migrant children.

"Deprivation of liberty of children based on their or their parents’ migration status is never in the best interests of the child, exceeds the requirement of necessity, becomes grossly disproportionate and may constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of migrant children. [...] The deprivation of liberty of children based exclusively on immigration-related reasons exceeds the requirement of necessity because the measure is not absolutely essential to ensure the appearance of children at immigration proceedings or to implement a deportation order. Deprivation of liberty in this context can never be construed as a measure that complies with the child`s best interests. [...] The Special Rapporteur shares the view of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that, when the child’s best interests require keeping the family together, the imperative requirement not to deprive the child of liberty extends to the child’s parents, and requires the authorities to choose alternative measures to detention for the entire family.

Juan E. Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, A/HRC/28/68, 5 March 2015.

A campaign by

Unicef
Mineurs en exil

In collaboration with

Caritas
Ciré
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen
JRS